28 September 2012

South Florida Housing Market in August

August was yet another month with little action in the single family home market in Southeast Florida. It seems the summer heat took its toll on home buyers and sapped their energy after the school vacations. Apropos: one client, who thought he knew the real estate market better than anyone else, lost a bet on which is the busiest home-buying in Florida.

I’ll give you the answer next month – which month do you think it is?

Back to last month: while total inventory at 15,082 homes keeps shriveling month by month (-1.9%), the loss of homes available for sale year over year is quite astonishing, at -26.7%.

The current highest inventory count goes to Palm Beach county with 5.2 mos, followed by 4.7 mos in Miami-Dade and 3.4 in Broward – overall a slight decrease to previous months. Never mind that certain niches like waterfront homes with ocean access are experiencing absurd price increase, even during the listing period, and still sell like warm bread from the oven.

South Florida total real estate inventory ending 24 Sep 2012. Source: SEF-MLS via Condovultures

Of very little consequence in my opinion however are two well-published numbers: asking prices and pending sales. Looking at those feels to me a bit like celebrating already just because someone lent you a buck to play the lottery.

Of much more interest – and reader Narvey agrees, thank you so much! – is the "delta" between sellers’ expectations and buyers’ price acceptance. Seen county by county:

  • 188% delta or +5% in Palm Beach, with soft prices mom (month over month), and -4% yoy (year over year)
  • 172% delta or -14% in Miami-Dade, prices -4% mom, but +4% yoy
  • 144% delta or +4% in Broward, with no price change mom, and +10% yoy

The August chart and the numbers:

South Florida home sales August 2011-2012, Source: SEF_MLS, ©tckaiser/modernsouthflorida.com

South Florida home sales August 2011-2012, Source: SEF_MLS, ©tckaiser/modernsouthflorida.com
South Florida home sales August 2011-2012, Source: SEF_MLS, ©tckaiser/modernsouthflorida.com

If you are in the modern market, here is an interesting number to close with:

modern architecture sold in August for a median of $229/sf, an increase of 16% year-over-year and a very juicy 110% premium over the price of your average home.  Talk about a good investment.

I wonder – how does the market influence your decision and timing to buy or sell?

21 September 2012

Two events: Octoberfest Sep 22 - Oct 7, MiMo Tour Guide Academy Nov 3, 10 + 17

Two important events you can't impossibly afford to miss (well... important depending on what you like):

1. Oktoberfest in Munich

Octoberfest 2012 – Tobias Kaiser, modern homes in Florida and North Carolina
Einzug der Wiesnwirte - Parade of the Breweries and Participants

The Munich Wies'n (meadows), as Bavarians call it, will start tomorrow at 12 noon, after a spectacular procession through Munich to the location of the world's biggest beerfest, the Theresienwiese (Theresa's meadows).  

The march through town involves about 1,000 participants, including the brewers' families in decorated carriages, the magnificent horse-drawn drays of the Munich breweries, waitresses on decorated floats and all the beer tent bands. It's considered an honour to be invited to the Einzug.

And as every year since 1810, the first barrel will be tapped by the mayor of Munich, accompanied by the words "O'zapft is" (Bavarian dialect for it's tapped). 

Munich's Mayor Christian Uhde tapping the first barrel, Oktoberfest 2011
More info on this year's Wies'n, including live webcams, here. Interesting historical info on the Oktoberfest at wikipedia


my favourite Wies'n-webcams are at http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/, and reportedly Mayor Uhde  did a fine job at the 179th Wies'n, tapping the first barrel. No wonder – this was his 17th (!) time around.

2. A bit different taste of culture is served up at the Art Deco + MiMo Tour Guide Academy

The Miami Design Preservation League offers the Art Deco + MiMo Tour Guide Academy, a course designed for people who would like to know more about Miami Beach’s unique architectural styles and wish to volunteer as tour guides.

The curriculum focuses on the history of the Art Deco District, its architecture, and the efforts to preserve it. 

Graduating from the Academy requires completion of two days of educational sessions, which include walking tours, the study of architectural styles and Miami Beach history, and guest lectures. Candidates who wish to become volunteer guides need to attend a third Saturday session, primarily devoted to student presentations of selected walking tour sites. The MiMo demonstrations are available for Tour Guide candidates on the first Saturday of each month. Candidates can plan to attend this portion of the course according to their personal schedules.

The cost for the Art Deco + MiMo Tour Guide Academy is $80 and includes walking tours, lunches, briefing materials, an architectural guide, information about the architecture MDPL is committed to preserving, and information about Miami Beach history.

More info at mdpl.org

So which one do you plan on visiting?

Photo: Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, designed by Morris Lapidus. © Philip Pessar.

14 September 2012

Homeowners Advice: Get Ready for Fall

modern homes by modern architecture specialist and real estate broker Tobias Kaiser
Mid-century modern home near Munich. Photo ©tckaiser
Just because some folks live in warmer climates like Florida, it doesn't mean there are no fall home maintenance chores. Having experienced winter temps in the mid-30s as far south as Fort Lauderdale, we sure won't need snow blowers, but we shouldn't just shrug the cooler season off either by limiting it to removing the occasional dead palm frond.
All homes require maintenance. And to retain your home's best value, it's important to stay on top of projects and repairs, both large and small. Seasonal maintenance is a great way to be sure new issues are quickly addressed.

Small repairs may seem insignificant, but letting them add up over time means an overwhelming list down the road.

Take a personal inventory of repairs that need to be addressed. These could range from paver stones that need replaced in a patio to a large-scale roof replacement. Walk your home from top to bottom and make a list of issues.

Look for paint that needs retouched, tiles that need grouted, loose or scuffed baseboards, broken screens, squeaky doors, and everything in-between.

Budget and prioritize what can be addressed now, what needs a professional to fix, and what needs to wait for available funds.

Fall is also the time of year to prepare your home for Winter. It is much easier to install storm windows during temperate weather than during a blizzard!

Be sure to address each of these issues each Fall:

• Call the HVAC guy: Your unit has been working hard all Summer during this brutal heatwave. Now is a great time to service your unit before the hard work of Winter.

• Check and clean chimney: Dirty chimneys cause hundreds of home fires every year. Be sure to have a professional clean and inspect your chimney each Fall.

• Clean the gutters: It's not just about appearances, though clean gutters do look better. A clogged gutter system can back-up water on your roof and cause leaks.

• Yard maintenance: Be sure to rake leaves and pick up downed limbs during Fall. Empty and put away flower pots. Address flower beds and put down new mulch for a clean appearance.

• Prepare Winter Equipment: Put away your lawn mower (yay!) and service your chainsaw, snowblower, and other fun winter tools. It's better to know now that a tool isn't working than to discover this on a day you need it!

Fall is a great time to address the needs of your property... all in beautiful weather. Take an inventory of your home's needs and be sure to follow through with proper home maintenance. Your home's value will thank you.

How do you prepare your home for fall and winter?